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Pet kennel goes up in flames

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The Holiday Pet Resort & Salon in Courtland Township caught fire last Friday, June 3. 

Smit family helps with dogs

(L to R) Hanco, Raymond, and Hannes Smit helping with dogs during the fire at the kennel.

Damages from a fire last week at a local kennel could be as high as $500,000.

The fire started shortly after 1 p.m. Friday, June 6, at the Holiday Pet Resort & Salon, on Northland Drive, between 13 and 14 Mile. Firefighters from Courtland, Algoma, Rockford, Cannon, Cedar Springs and Grattan were all on scene.

According to owner Mike Plesco, it may have been the crematorium that overheated and caught the rafters on fire. The crematorium is located in the back of the facility.

Courtland Fire Chief Mickey Davis said that the insurance company is investigating the cause, and determining damages. “I estimated $250,000, but they said it might be closer to $500,000,” said Davis. “The furnace itself is worth $80,000.”

The building has three wings—two on each side, one out the back, and offices in front. Davis said the back is where the crematorium was, and that section was destroyed, and the office would also probably need to be torn down and rebuilt.

Davis said that once they got the electric and the gas turned off (which was feeding the fire in the crematorium), things went smoothly. “We did a practice burn awhile back on a house and had all those same departments there. I think that helped a lot,” he said.

The fire started in the back and worked its way through the building. Post photo by J. Reed.

The fire started in the back and worked its way through the building. Post photo by J. Reed.

They cleared the scene at 5:14 p.m.

About a dozen animals were on site, when the fire broke out, including 11 dogs and one cat. They all got out safely.

According to the Smit family, they arrived at the pet resort just after 1 p.m. to drop off their black lab, Sasha, for the weekend. They were told by employees that they couldn’t take the dog because the building was on fire. “There weren’t any fire trucks here yet,” said Hanco Smit.

So parents Hannes and Heleen, and brothers  Hanco and Raymond helped employees with the animals by waiting outside while the employees brought dogs out to them to hold on to with leashes. Eventually other people stopped to help, and held on to the dogs while firefighters fought the blaze.

“I guess you are going camping with us this weekend,” Hannes told Sasha, and scratched her head. “It will be a treat.” He said he called the place they were camping in Traverse City and explained the situation, and they told him to bring her on up. “That was really nice.”

 

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